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While not a huge surprise, "Star Trek" and "Star Trek Into Darkness" director J.J. Abrams has confirmed that he won't be coming back for a third go-around in the Starship Enterprise.
At a party for the home video release of "Star Trek Into Darkness," Abrams revealed to Collider that while he's still on board as a producer and will consult on the story, he won't return as director, calling the decision "bittersweet." Instead, Abrams will tackle another giant franchise with the word "star" in the title when he starts shooting Disney's "Star Wars: Episode VII" early next year in England.
"Whomever it is that directs the film will be someone we all know is going to keep the cast and crew in good hands," Abrams said at the event. "I feel very lucky to have been part of it, and it definitely feels like the right time to let someone come in and do their own thing. I certainly don't want someone to come in and try to do what I would have done. We want to hire someone who's gonna come in and bring their own sensibility. I'm very excited to see what comes next, despite feeling jealous of whomever that person is."
Abrams single-handedly revitalized the ailing "Star Trek" brand with his zippy direction, focus on a youthful cast, and a storyline that runs parallel to the original films and series -- a device utilized to great effect in the first two movies. In other words: whoever comes in to relieve Abrams will have some impressively big shoes to fill.
"Whoever he gets to direct it will be someone [Abrams] trusts implicitly," Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty in the new films, said. "We've also got each other, as well. The whole cast is very united. It will be interesting. It will be fun to get a different take on it. We've gotta keep evolving it. I guess it can only be good for the story, as long as it's the right person."
Considering Abrams is a multi-hyphenate who can seemingly juggle thousands of things at once, we're sure he's already vetting potential replacements ... while also prepping the release of his first novel ("S.," with Doug Durst), overseeing his TV shows that are on the air ("Revolution," "Person of Interest"), and, of course, getting ready to journey into a galaxy far, far away.
He can do it all folks, except, you know, direct "Star Trek 3."
[via Collider h/t E! News]